Transitional care is the process of moving a patient from one setting of care to another, such as from hospital to home, or from one healthcare facility to another. The goal of care transitions is to ensure that patients receive the necessary care and support to continue recovery as well as to avoid health complications in their new setting. This transition can occur between hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation facilities, home care agencies, and other provider organizations. As such, improving patient care transition is a key focus among healthcare organizations to make their patient’s transition journey as smooth as possible.
The Importance of Improving Patient Care Transitions
A well-executed care transition is critical to ensuring patients receive the continuity of care they need to stay healthy. When patients move from one care setting to another, there is a risk of losing important information or not receiving the same level of care along the way. Improved care transitions help to prevent these problems by coordinating care between different providers and making sure patients receive the care they need. In addition, improving patient care transitions can help improve the quality of care that patients receive; help reduce the risk of readmission as well as re-hospitalization, and improve patient satisfaction.
In this blog, we will highlight key tips for improving patient care transitions, such as creating a plan, communicating effectively with patients, encouraging patients’ and families’ involvement, helping patients understand their medications, and conducting follow-up appointments.
What Are Some Key Tips For Improving Patient Care Transitions?
Effectively Plan The Transition
Having a well-planned care transition helps ensure patients receive the care and services they need when moving from one care setting to another. Transition planning involves assessing the patient’s needs, developing a plan of care that meets those needs, and coordinating the care and services required from different care team members. When assessing a patient’s needs prior to transitioning their care, providers should evaluate their patient’s medical history, current health status, and goals for their health. Additionally, the plan of care should be coordinated with the different providers who will be involved in the patient’s care. This coordination will help to ensure that all of the providers are working together to provide the best possible care for the patient.
Planning a care transition can be difficult, but telehealth solutions can help simplify the process. Telehealth solutions such as virtual care platforms can help providers plan more efficient care transitions by allowing them to assign specific tasks to care team members, keep track of a patient’s medical records, and more. Additionally, virtual health platforms can provide a roadmap based on evidence that healthcare providers can follow when transitioning patients with certain conditions
Communicate Effectively With All Care Team Members
During a care transition, it is important to maintain communication between all care team members and their patients. Effective communication allows everyone to understand their roles and reduces errors and misunderstandings. This can help with building trust and support between team members and patients, which can make working together more productive and enjoyable.
When trying to communicate effectively with team members, it’s important to be clear and concise, listen actively, and be respectful. Taking the time to communicate effectively can make a big difference in the quality of care that patients receive. Through telehealth and various healthcare providers, patients can communicate easily and effectively via audio/video calls and secure messaging, which can improve communication
Ensure Patients and Their Families are Actively Involved in the Process
The involvement of patients and their families during care transitions can help providers gather information about their patients’ needs. This also allows healthcare providers to discuss the ways a patient’s family can help support them with their care transition. When patients and families are involved in care transitions, it is more likely that the patient will adjust well to their new care setting, and continue making progress with their health.
Telehealth is a valuable tool that can improve the experience of patients, families, and healthcare providers during the transition process. By working together remotely with patients and families, care providers can help to ensure that everyone involved has a positive experience and that the transition is successful.
Certify All Medications and Treatments are Properly Coordinated
It is essential to certify all medications and treatments for patients who are transitioning to a new care setting. Doing so helps to ensure that the correct dosages are being administered during the transfer process. In addition, certifying all medications and treatments can help to avoid potential errors or omissions that could occur during the transition process.
Through telehealth solutions, certifying and managing a patient’s medications is made simple. On platforms such as aTouchAway, healthcare providers can view a full list of the medications a patient is on, and make changes or adjustments when necessary. This keeps all care circle members in the loop when it comes to a patient’s medication, which can help ensure they are providing the correct treatments to their patient.
Follow Up With Patients After Their Initial Discharge
Another way to help facilitate and improve patient care transitions is by implementing follow-up care with a healthcare provider. Scheduling appointments after a care transition can help ensure patients feel well-supported. These appointments can also help the patient to stay on track with their care plan and recovery while providing encouragement and answering any questions they may have.
Telehealth can help with follow-up appointments after discharge in a number of ways. No-shows can be reduced by making it easier for patients to keep track of their appointments, and communication between patients and providers can be made more convenient by allowing them to speak on a more regular basis. By implementing follow-up care with a healthcare provider through a telehealth solution, patients can receive the care and support they need to facilitate a successful care transition.
Outcomes You Can Expect
Care transitions can be challenging for healthcare providers, patients, and their families. The goal of a care transition is to ensure that patients receive the services and support they need to safely and effectively transition from one setting to another. With the help of telehealth, everyone involved in the care transition process can experience a more seamless transition, and patients can continue to receive active support.
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